By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT – Veteran political consultant Jim Cauley is working for the Democratic campaign of James L. Kay II in the special state House 56th District race in Central Kentucky.
Kay, a Woodford County attorney, confirmed Wednesday that Cauley, a former chief of staff for Gov. Steve Beshear, is his campaign consultant in the race.
That drew an immediate response from state Republican Party Chairman Steve Robertson, who noted that Cauley was campaign manager for President Barack Obama’s 2004 U.S. Senate campaign in Illinois.
“The fact that Kay is employing a former Obama operative in his campaign should give us a glimpse of his political philosophy,” said Robertson. The president is highly unpopular in Kentucky.
Cauley, who also managed Beshear’s winning campaign in 2007 for governor against Republican incumbent Ernie Fletcher, said, “If Steve Robertson wants to go there, he should know that I ran the only governor’s race to defeat a sitting governor in the history of Kentucky.”
The special House election will be June 25. The Republican nominee in the race is Lyen Crews, a Midway College official who is taking a job with eCampus.com in Lexington. John-Mark Hack, a former farm official in Gov. Paul Patton’s administration, is running as an independent. All three candidates are from Woodford County.
Beshear called the special election after Democratic incumbent Carl Rollins of Midway resigned the House seat to take a higher education post. The district includes Woodford County and parts of Fayette and Franklin counties.
The race is the only election this year in Kentucky. Republicans hope it will be a springboard for the GOP to take control of the state House next year, when all 100 House seats are up for election. With the vacancy, Democrats outnumber Republicans in the House 54 to 45.